Monday, April 26, 2010

Aerial Antics: Sea World Orlando

A mega-combination of animal and theme park, Sea World Orlando offers a little something for everyone. Just so happens that on this blog that something tends to be rides over animals. Let's see what Sea World Orlando has to offer us...

Sea World Orlando entered the coaster big leagues in 2000 with the addition of Kraken. The B&M 'monster' floorless coaster towers 151 ft. near a lagoon and features seven inversions. Riders also dip below ground level into the Kraken's lair, just missing a rushing water fall.

I heard originally the ride was going to run out over the lagoon, but the park couldn't get planning permission. Anyone know for sure?

Shamu's Happy Harbor is a paradise for children, filled with smaller scale versions of the 'big kid' rides. The area features a gigantic net climb, similar to the other Sea World parks. 2006 saw the addition of the Shamu Express, the family coaster in the upper right corner. This photo must have been taken in winter of 2006/07, as you can see construction work for three new kiddie rides that debuted that summer.

Journey to Atlantis was really the park's first big step in adding thrills to their lineup. In classic Orlando fashion, they didn't just build a flume ride to drench guests, they went all out and created an immersive themed ride.

The water coaster was designed by Mack Rides and features a very coaster like finale. The storyline involves riders trying to avoid a nasty Siren's calls while in and around the lost city of Atlantis, and of course features a large drop into a splash pool.

The latest in the park's thrill arsenal is Manta, seen under construction here. A B&M flying coaster by design, Manta keeps the park's tradition of building both rides and animal exhibits alive. Guests can view a wide variety of rays while waiting in line, and the aquarium can also be visited by non-riders.

To fly around Sea World Orlando on your own, visit Bing's aerials of the park here.